As a business owner, working both hard and smart should be part of your DNA. With new challenges to solve every day and opportunities to tap into, using time wisely is critical.
Meetings are among the necessary activities that business owners must engage in time to time. Properly executed meetings can have tremendous impacts on the performance of a company. Whether it’s brainstorming new marketing ideas, reviewing ongoing campaigns, or jotting down ideas for a new service, meetings provide organizations with multiple insights into various important parts of their operations.
However, unplanned meetings can also waste critical time that could otherwise have been used to grow the business. When meetings are not well-defined in advance, they can suck valuable time from your daily business operations.
To get the most of your meetings, you need to be smart. Here are some tips that will help you hold more productive meetings.
Provide your staff with the agenda for the meeting in advance. Depending on the planned discussions, you can provide the agenda a few days or hours before the meeting.
Giving all participants of the meeting an agenda will allow them to properly prepare, especially for discussions that require well-researched and thoughtful inputs.
During the meeting, stick to the agenda. The discussions should be succinct and focus on priorities and actions that need to be taken to achieve the goals discussed. Before the meeting ends, every department should know what it is responsible for, the expected results, and the timelines of implementing the actions required.
Successful meetings drive the organization forward. Therefore, your meetings should have similar traits to marketing campaigns. For example, there should be KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to be referred to within specific timelines to gauge the success of the implementation of proposed activities.
A lot of content can be covered in meetings. Therefore, it is unreasonable to expect the attendants to jot down everything that has been discussed. The solution? Record the meeting and hire a transcription services company for transcription purposes.
Recording your meetings will ensure that all points raised during discussions or reporting are captured. You can use a professional voice recorder to capture everything that will be said in the meetings. The audio files can then be transcribed by a professional business transcription or interview transcription services company, and the transcripts edited and distributed to your staff to ensure everyone is at par with the information presented during the meeting.
Encourage participation in the meeting by asking open-ended questions. As you lead the meeting, ask each person to submit a presentation or randomly call people to contribute to the discussions.
If you provided the meeting agenda beforehand, participants should not be taken by surprise with the discussions. Rather, they should be well-prepared to provide commentaries or suggestions when called upon.
Meetings do not have to go the conventional route of being held in a boardroom. If you want to have a productive meeting, think outside the box and experiment. For example, you can experiment with different meeting venues, times, number of participants, frequency of the meetings, and so on.
Through experimentation, you can find the sweet spot to make your company’s meetings the most productive. For example, you might find short, stand-up meetings work best for your business than long, whole-afternoon sessions. Ultimately, it's up to your organization to find the type of meeting to hold.
Meetings, like tools, can help steer your business in the right direction. However, they can also turn out to be huge time-wasters, especially when not planned for or lack clear outcomes. Follow the tips above to make your meetings more productive.